Tag Archive for: free

Time to Get Serial

by Bethany Maines

This week (12/9 – 12/13) one of my short stories, Oh, Holy Night, is being serialized on
Frolic – the site for all things romance. 
Oh, Holy Night is a Christmas
romance involving bank robbery, coffee, and best friends. And while I’m always
ecstatic to sell and share one of my stories, I have to say that I’m a little
more over the moon about this story because of the significance of serialized
stories in the history of writing.
Most people think of Charles Dickens when they think of
serialized stories.  And although A Christmas Carol was not serialized,
his Pickwick Papers (1836) was
written and shared in nineteen installments, each costing a shilling.  Partially, the success was due to the format
of bite-size, cliff-hanger segments sold in a time when people couldn’t dash
off and find entertainment on their phones. 
But, let’s think about that for just a moment.  Now that we can dash off and find entertainment
at any moment of the day, wouldn’t now be the perfect time for bite-size,
cliff-hanger segments of a story?  The
old adventure movies captured this idea in the early days of film with short
movies that were meant to keep you coming back next Saturday or at the least for the next reel. Have you ever
wondered why some movies (ex: James Bond) will give you a 15 minute opening
adventure before cutting to the credits? Thank the early days of film when complete reels were 15 minutes long
and the projectionist needed to hustle to change reels. Current television has captured this format
with long story lines and cliff-hanger episodes and then broken the mold by
allowing everyone to binge watch all the episodes at once. The idea of writing
extended stories that leave the reader wanting more with each chapter is a
unique skill that is hard to master. One that I’m sure I haven’t mastered it
yet, but one that I’m excited to work on. 
If you Pop over to Frolic to read Oh, Holy Night for free
and check out my effort at a serialized story!

Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel.
You can also catch up
with her on
Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Dead Zone

by Bethany Maines

Welcome to the day where no one is on-line, but everyone is at the grocery store. Hopefully, you are successfully home from such an excursion and have yet to launch into the holiday madness of bake, travel, eat, travel, flop face first onto the pile of laundry on your bed because you didn’t have time to put it away before you left. My hope for you, dear reader, is that your home with your feet up reading a good book and sipping hot cocoa, cider, or the nog of your choice. That is also my dream for myself, so let’s dream the impossible dream together.

The dream starts with good books. Check this space on Friday for a Stiletto Gang book guide featuring some awesome giveaways, sales and just a general list of good things to read. But here are some of mine that you can snag for a quick, easy and cheap!

Blue Christmas – Want a hilarious romantic holiday thriller? Simply join my newsletter and get this one for free. It’s as easy as that.
Link: bethanymaines.com/free-e-book/

An Unseen Current – Murder, mystery, a hunky Sheriff’s Deputy, a granddaughter / granddad detective duo, oh, and there’s a dog.  The third in the series, An Unfamiliar Sea, comes out in January.  Grab book one for $.99!
Link: Amazon

Shark’s Instinct – Crime, humor, and a heroine and hero that are more than they seem, the Shark Santoyo Series follows a duo that have the odds stacked against them.  Buy book one for $.99 or check it out on Kindle Unlimited.
Link: Amazon


Now let’s talk Nog.  I personally do not believe in egg nog.  Too much egg.  Not enough nog.  But I do believe in cocktails.  So with that in mind I suggest the Moscow Mule.  Served in a festive copper cup (but really can be drunk out of anything) try this drink with a slice of lime as a garnish.

Main alcohol: Vodka
Ingredients: 4 oz Ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz Vodka, 1/6 oz Lime juice
Preparation: Combine vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug or highball glass filled with ice. Add lime juice. Stir gently and garnish with a lime slice.
Served: On the rocks; poured over ice.
Drinkware: Copper mug or highball glass

Good luck out there my friends. Don’t let the holidays be anything less than jolly!


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel.
You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Special Snowflakes

Before I was published, back when a pair of rose-colored
glasses were fused to my nose, I was sure my first book was a special snowflake.
Everyone would fall in love with it.
Maybe not everyone. Maybe not men (the first book I
wrote was a romance). Maybe not women who read contemporary romance (the first book
I wrote was a historical romance). Maybe not women who read Regency
romance (the first book I wrote was set in New Orleans in 1902). Those maybes
left me with a small (tiny) slice of potential readers but everyone in that
slice would love it.
I’d written a niche book and the niche was small.
Not surprisingly (in retrospect) it took forever and a day
for that book to sell to a publisher.
While I waited, I wrote a second book. A mystery. Had I
taken off the rose-colored glasses, I’d have written a book about a woman who moves
to small town, runs a dress shop, cooks amazing muffins, keeps a strangely
intelligent cat, and talks to dead people. Instead I wrote about Ellison Russell,
a woman who lives in the city of her birth, paints, can’t cook, keeps a dog,
and finds dead people. Oh, and I set the story in the 1974.
The mystery sold. Quickly. Go figure.
Next week, the ninth book in the Country Club Murders
releases. Ellison still paints, she definitely can’t cook, her dog has yet to
solve a crime, and the rate at which she finds bodies would depopulate a small
Thank heavens for rose-colored glasses.

If you’ve not yet made Ellison’s acquaintance, the first book in the series is
free (this week only, so grab it now)!

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures. 

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Free Iceland!

Or… Rather, Free & Iceland
by Bethany Maines

Helloooooo from Iceland! I am away on vacation – travelling in the viking founded, former Denmarkian colony, mostly known as Bjork’s homeland.

I’ve learned some fascinating things about Iceland in my scant two days here. For one thing, they don’t have family names here; they use one of their parent’s names plus the ending dottir or son. So I would be Bethany Raymondsdottir. I have yet to discover how they pick which parent’s name to use, but personally, I’m hoping that bribery is involved. (Hear that mom? I’m open to gifts.) The second thing I’ve learned is that Iceland is passionate about their language and have been pushing to maintain it, keep it, and share it since the 1600’s. They’ve done so well, that even modern Icelanders can read the ancient saga’s that were written down starting in the 1200’s.

So far the weather has been crystal clear and cold, which has been fantastic for the amount of walking we’ve been doing. We’ve walked a great stretch of Reykjavik and our feet our sending up signals that perhaps we should consider using the bus! But we are really hoping that the weather holds through until at least tomorrow since we’re off to try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights tonight.

Perhaps it’s the vacation talking or perhaps it’s Valentine’s day approaching, but I’m in the best of moods, so all of you will get the benefit. February 13 – 15, The Dragon Incident will be free. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors! And enjoy this tale of Quetzelcoatl, a Bellingham WA strip club, and a soccer game for the ages!